Assigned to baby-sit a loose-cannon colonel at remote Wheelus Air Base, Libya, handsome, hard-charging Captain Joe Harding spends his off-duty time bedding an enlisted medic and a muscular major, then begins a nurturing friendship with the American ambassador's teenage son. The boy swiftly develops a crush on the man, feelings that Joe, a Southern gent with a strong moral sense, feels he cannot acknowledge or return. Joe’s further adventures and misadventures during the course of the novel involve a clerk's murder, a flight-surgeon's drug abuse, a fist-fight in the officers' club bar, a straight roommate whose taste for leather gets him in trouble, the combat death of Joe's former lover, and participation in an all-male orgy witnessed by two very married but somewhat confused fighter jocks.
In the run-up to the 1967 war, a mob attacks the embassy in nearby Tripoli and the deranged colonel sets out to attack an Arab warship. To bring the pilots and their airplanes safely home – and keep the United States out of the war – Joe has two choices: either come out to his closest, straightest buddies or know himself to be a coward, a failure and a traitor to everything that he holds dear.
Elliott Mackle covered the 1996 Olympic Games for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. An AJC staff writer, he served as the newspaper’s dining critic for a decade, also reporting on military affairs, travel and the national restaurant scene. His first novel, It Takes Two, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He lives in Atlanta with his partner of nearly forty years.read more